Posts Tagged ‘Grand Theft Auto IV’

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Video Games have been around for a long time. Since I have been old enough to retain memories, I have been playing video games. It’s something that I love doing, and has helped me and many others on so many different levels. However, recently the video game industry has been slowly pushing me away, with new trends. Ideas to make more and more money, and to slap the consumer/gamer in the face. Trends such as —

DLC Rip-Offs
This is probably the thing the video game industry has been doing that pisses me off the most! They take a newly finished and fully completed game. Look at it, decide it kicks so much ass, that they will just chop out parts of the game, sell the now partial game for full retail price, and then announce the rest of the game, that you already paid for, can be purchased as DLC!

 basically, they charge you an extra 5 bucks or so, in order to play an “Extra” level. Usually these “DLCs” clearly were ripped from the game, because they are mentioned in the game. Take for instance LA Noir, it mentions in your journal at one point, that you are investigating your third case in your current dept, despite the fact, that it’s only your second case. Why? because the DLC with the case before it, wasn’t released yet.

The worst offender is Alan Wake, which is a game, without a fucking ending! Apparently, they were going to sell extra “chapters” which presumably would finish the story, however not all the planned chapters came out, because nobody was willing to give them the ransom money they demanded to see the rest of the story. So, people who bought the game and played through it, pretty much are fucked since it’s a game without a fucking ending.

Not all DLC is bad though! Take GTA IV, Red Dead Redemption and — Well, im sure there’s another one that I just can’t think of off-hand. These games actually make DLC that I am more than happy to buy. They sell you a complete game! It’s long, and complete without missing missions and plot holes that leave you scratching your head. Then they release DLC that tells ANOTHER story. Almost like expansion packs! In fact, I would go so far as to call them expansion packs! These are good DLC items! I applaud Rockstar for this behavior. Not so much for the LA Noir DLC though. You guys are slacking there in my opinion.

Console Exclusive DLC
When a game is released on both the PS3 and the Xbox 360, many times one of the consoles will end up getting a console exclusive DLC; usually in the form of a mission, level, case or something along those lines.

Now, this doesn’t really have any particular effect on me personally, since if one system has an exclusive mission or whatever, I will just buy it for that console. However, not everyone has that option. Which is what pisses me off. The people who buy the game on the PS3 or X360 pay almost the exact same amount as each other. So, why the hell don’t they get the same fucking content as the other console players?

I am sure it is due to the console company paying extra for the right to those exclusive bonus items, but in the end it fucks the games fans over who didn’t get it on the console with the exclusive. It may not be favoritism, but it sure as hell seems like it sometimes.

Game Passes
When a game comes out, they sometimes also sell in the console DLC store, Passes. There’s two kinds of passes as far as I can tell. One is a good kind, the other pisses me off to no end. The good kind? It gives you access to all the DLC released for that game at a discounted price. So, if you know you want to get all the DLC for a particular game(IE; L.A. Noir), then buying that pass is a good idea.

The bad kind of pass is when a game with Online competitive play is released. They will cap your online level advancements to some ridiculously low-level, and then sell a “Pass” that will allow you to advance beyond that level. If you chose not to buy the pass, you can of course continue playing online, but you will be a really low-level, and not end up with access to all the advanced perks that everyone else is using to kick your ass, because yes, even if you can’t advance in levels, you will still play against people who bought the pass and can gain more levels.

Granted, occasionally, this pass is available for free, if you buy the game new, and before the code in the box expires. otherwise, you are pretty much fucked!

Lack of Originality
Come on people! Enough with the sequels. I know you want to play it safe, but release some new fucking titles already! It works sometimes you know! If it didn’t we would all be playing Mario Brothers 26 right now. Sure, sometimes you get a stinker like Alan Wake, but other times you get a masterpiece like Heavy Rain.

Don’t get me wrong! I fucking love sequels, I am hoping and pleading for a Red Dead Redemption sequel, or a new Splinter Cell game. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t want to experience the thrill of a new adventure with a new character! After all, there’s only so many sequels a man can take!

Cookie Cutter Games
Sure, I could have fit this into the Lack of Originality category. I simply decided not to. The reason? That’s simple! See, to me, it’s a big enough annoyance, to warrant its own category.

So, what do I mean by Cookie Cutter exactly? Games that are way too similar. Games like rhythm Games(See below), Matching block puzzle games, shooting bubble puzzle games and so on! However, the worst offender I believe is todays current First Person Shooters. The majority of them take place in modern settings, and located in the middle east. So, the backgrounds pretty much all look-alike, sure some might have varying stages of realism, but at a glance they are all pretty much identical. There’s also the first person view, but that totally doesn’t count, because it’s a first person shooter. What does count however is the lack of healthbar that they all seem to have adopted. Instead of health, most FPS games just get redder and redder around the edges of the screen to show how much damage you have, and then you hide for a bit, and you are good to go.

Yes, the red edges health meter was cool when I first saw it. After a few million dozen times, it started getting old. Just because something worked for one company, doesn’t mean every single FPS from that point forward needs to adopt the same health meter. Come up with your own shit! Make the game your own, instead of a Modern Warfare carbon copy! Sure, it might not sell as well, but at least you will be your own game and not a “Modern Warfare Clone”.

While FPS titles maybe the worst offenders, they are far from the only offender. Take a look at MMORPGs. a good majority of them are identical to World Of Warcraft. Why? Probably because WoW is so insanely popular, that it would be a safe bet, that if yer playing their game, that you also are playing World of Warcraft, and maybe this is their way of making you feel at home. I don’t know, but it’s annoying. If I wanted to play WoW, I would be playing WoW, not some copycat that charges the same amount. Basically, if I am looking for an MMORPG and NOT going to Wow, Which most likely I have heard of, since it is clearly the most popular MMORPG out at the time of this writing, then there is a good chance that I want something different from what WoW provides!

Rhythm Games and their add-ons.
The rhythm game genre, is the only game genre I detest. I am not a huge fan of sport games, but will occasionally play them. I will never play a rhythm game. Does this make the genre horrible? Well, it kind of does, at least for me. I am fully aware that many people love this particular genre. For me, it just makes no sense. I don’t see where the enjoyment of pushing buttons to the beat of a song becomes interesting. I used to tap my pencil to the rhythm of songs in school, and I never thought to myself that this is so fucking exciting, it should be a video game.

My hatred for the genre is beside the point. What bugs me is the massive amounts of this genre that’s out there. Seriously, how many fucking rhythm games do you need? It get’s worse too! Everyone of those fucking rhythm games, releases an busload of DLC that consists of new songs to tap to the beat of. Since this shit is easy as fuck to produce, they go ape-shit and just start cranking out DLC like it was going out of style.

It eventually gets to the point, that I don’t even bother checking the “What’s new?” in the online console store, because I know it will be jammed with millions of rhythm DLC titles.

Most likely there’s more that is making the video game industry seem less interesting to me, but off-hand I can’t think of any. I’ll get back to ya!

UPDATE: I thought of some more, and have updated this list from 4, to 6 things ruining video games for me!

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Logo used for Rockstar Games's Grand Theft IV.

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So, I was sitting here, trying to decide on an MMO to try that I haven’t yet tried. After careful consideration I decided to give the game called APB a shot. I looked around at my favorite online stores, and couldn’t find it anywhere! I knew something was up, because it’s not like I could be misspelling the name.

After digging around, I decide to try to find the games website, assuming that maybe the game for some reason is only available for purchase through their store. To my amazement, their website was also gone! Curiouser and curiouser I thought.

After even more hunting around the internet, I discovered that APB had closed it’s doors! That’s right, the game had shut down. Now, the fact that it shut down isn’t the odd part. I mean, MMOs do have a habit of shutting down, especially the way the economy is these days. What is surprising however is how quickly the game closed down! After only being open for 3 months, they decided to call it quits.

You read that right! Three Months! APB now as far as I know, has the distinction of being the shortest lived MMO in gaming history, so congratulations on that!

I guess I will just have to stick to GTA IV in free roam mode.

MAFIA II 24

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I had been eagerly anticipating the release of the game Mafia II, and the day it finally came out was almost like Christmas had come early. I sat out on the porch, just waiting for the friendly neighborhood UPS man to come pulling up in his giant brown truck. Then, when he pulled up, I ran out to meet him, and grabbed the package out of his hand and practically started ripping into it right there.

No, I am not a fan of the Mafia game franchise. In fact, the original Mafia game I completely despised. The sequel though? It called out to me, and despite my dislike for the original, I had to get it.

So, enough about waiting on the game right? I am going to skip past the bit where I run in, stick the game into my console and all that. I am going to get right to the meat of this post. The Review of the game.

When I began playing Mafia II, I found the controls fairly confusing, however by the time I finished the tutorial level I was quite intimate with the controls. In fact, it felt to me like I had mastered it. In this regard, the games tutorial did exactly what it’s intended to do. In fact, it excels at tutoring you on the games basics. Most games give you a quick rundown, and then throw you into some crazy situation and expect you to be an expert and the control system. Not so with Mafia II! In fact, you have plenty of time even after the tutorial to get into the swing of things, and by the time you find yourself in the thick of things, you will be more than capable of handling the situation.

The thing I found most impressive, even more impressive than the tutorial was the graphics! The graphics were astounding! Combine those graphics with the level of detail in the game? What do you have? If you answered a masterpiece, I will accept that! However, what I was going for was a Lifelike experience. The city you play in is like a living, breathing city! The songs match the time period, and realistic physics add to the realism!

On top of all that, the game has plenty of boobage! You can collect vintage girlie magazines hidden throughout the game, and when you find one, you can take a look at the centerfold. Remember, this game is Mature! Obviously it shouldn’t be played by the young uns. It obviously wasn’t intended to be played by them, so you shouldn’t be getting it for your kid.

I won’t lie to you, while I found this game thrilling, gorgeous and an exceptional game, it wasn’t perfect. In fact, it was heavily flawed! You have heard the Pro’s, Now hear the Cons.

One of the things I like about games, especially Xbox 360 games, is the online playability. Games like Grand Theft Auto IV and Red Dead Redemption both provide fun online gaming distractions. So, I assumed that Mafia II would provide a similar online gaming experience. I however was disappointed. Was the online experience equal to the other previously mentioned games? No! Not only was it not equal, it was in fact non-existent! This bothered me, since in this day and age of gaming, online playability is pretty much a given! All game releases pretty much have some for of online playability, even if it’s poorly done.

So, there was that! The Con’s do continue as well.

The game is short. I mean really short! Insanely short. I finished the game in 2 days, and I wasn’t even playing it non-stop. I firmly believe that If I put my usual gaming time into this game, I would have finished it in one day. I am sorry, but that is just not acceptable! Maybe back in the day of the PS2 and the original Xbox, but now a days? That isn’t going to fly! As gamers we expect longer, enjoyable games. We realise games were shorter in the past. However, games have grown longer this generation, and it’s become expected! So, when a game like Mafia II provides a game this short, it’s a disappointment!

Lastly, the game has been advertising upcoming DLC even before the game was released. Hell, on the PS3, the game had DLC out and available on the day of release. This pisses me off! Why? Because, the game was insanely short, I feel that in terms of game content, I was ripped off! The lack of content wasn’t due to the fact that they simply had run out of ideas and story to take the game. It seems to me, that they were making the DLC while they were making the game. If that’s the case, then they clearly had a direction they could have taken the game. Instead, they decide to make the game tiny, and sell fans of the game more content. Milk their fans out of as much money as possible to fill their pockets.

So what’s the bottom line on Mafia II? Rent it. Sure, the games great! It’s a blast to play, but with their being no online play, the replayability pretty much doesn’t exist. To top it off, it’s so short you will probably finish it in your rental period. So, rent it, and if you did like it as much as I did, wait a few months and buy it used, or wait for it to hit the bargain bin.